As 20 NFL teams' seasons ended on Sunday without a postseason bid, Redskins fans finally had something to look forward to again: the 2012 NFL Draft.
Washington, dubbed the "Offseason Champs," finished the regular season at 5-11 and earned the sixth overall draft pick.
Picking ahead of the Redskins are:
1. Indianapolis Colts (2-14)
2. St. Louis Rams (2-14)
3. Minnesota Vikings (3-13)
4. Cleveland Browns (4-12)
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12)
As I've written about here and here, barring a bizarre twist of events, the Indianapolis Colts will be taking Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the first overall pick.
The Redskins, obviously, are in desperate need of a franchise quarterback. And with USC's Matt Barkley going back to school, Washington fans rejoiced when the news came out that Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III -- this year's Heisman Trophy winner -- will be entering the 2012 Draft.
Standing between the Redskins and Griffin are three teams that don't need a quarterback: St. Louis, Minnesota and Tampa Bay all appear to have their quarterback situation solved for the next several years.
But two picks ahead of Washington at No. 4 overall are the Cleveland Browns, which are reportedly interested in Griffin. ESPN's Jamison Hensley even openly speculated that current starting quarterback Colt McCoy may never start another game in Cleveland.
Washington has a few options. It could leapfrog the Browns and swap picks with Minnesota, but moving up three spots in the draft would likely cost more than it's worth, even for the rights to the playmaking Griffin.
But all things considered, the Redskins don't need to land Griffin. If he comes off the board, the Redskins could trade down to the middle of the first round and possibly acquire a second- and third-round pick for their troubles. That would go a long way in filling gaps in the team's roster -- which could use a quarterback, running back, depth on the offensive line, middle linebacker, cornerback and safety.
Moving back could give the Redskins a chance to draft a stud receiver (like South Carolina's Alshon Jeffery) or a stud cornerback (like Alabama's Dre Kirkpatrick or Nebraska's Alfonso Dennard). Then Washington could take a flier on a second- or third-round quarterback like Wisconsin's Russell Wilson or Boise State's Kellen Moore, both fantastic talents whose draft values are low due to their short statures. Both Wilson and Moore are low-risk possibilities.
The Redskins currently have eight picks in the upcoming draft, including Oakland's fourth-rounder (for quarterback Jason Campbell) and Minnesota's fifth-rounder (for quarterback Donovan McNabb). They gave up their sixth-rounder to New Orleans in exchange for starting tackle Jammal Brown.